CLIVE, Iowa – Junior high student Colby Cook has never been trained in the Heimlich maneuver, but he says he saw enough of it on TV to save his buddy’s life when the need arose.
The 13-year-old eighth grader at Indian Hills Junior High School in Clive told the Des Moines Register he and his friend Kyle Randolph, also 13, were eating lunch in the school cafeteria earlier this month, when Randolph suddenly stood up from the table, grasping at his throat. Apparently, a piece of meatball sandwich had gotten lodged, and Randolph was struggling to breathe.
“I can’t really describe it, because it happened so fast, but I just jumped in and gave him the Heimlich,” Cook told the Register.
The meatball was dislodged and Randolph saved, but Cook apparently thought little of it at the time.
“They just took care of it themselves,” Indian Hills Principal Shane Christensen said. “They didn’t say anything. It was the end of the week, and they just went home.”
But that night, Cook let it slip to his parents: “Yeah, I saved a life today in school.”
Clay and Teri Cook told the Register they now laugh at their muted reaction to their son’s news.
“It’s not that we didn’t believe him, but you know, it was a pretty incredible story,” Clay Cook said. “We had to think, OK, did this really happen?”
When Randolph’s parents showed up at the Cook’s door to personally thank the boy for saving their son’s life, however, the reality of Colby’s actions set in.
“Then it clicked: This is for real,” recalled Clay Cook.
“We’re really proud of Colby and his quick-thinking,” said Diane Randolph. “He was not afraid to act on his instincts.”
The Register report Colby’s parents rewarded their son with hotel room service on an out-of-town trip, and a new pair of sneakers may soon be on the way as well.